We did this route while we were in Steamboat Springs for a few days prior to the STB GRVL race, which we highly recommend. The race is well organized and STB GRVL goes above and beyond creating an inclusive and diverse event by supporting and highlighting riders from the para events, @rideforracialjustice, @allbodiesonbikes, and more.
If you are in town at a different time, you can still enjoy the riding the area has to offer:
You can find the 2021 STB GRVL 64-mile "Red Course" route here.
Don't skip the five-star route around Steamboat Lake!
and Dirt Roads website has lots more routes on offer too.
You can hardly beat the scenery and roads in and around Steamboat Springs!
This route has a nice mix of surfaces: paved river trail, paved rural roads, long and smooth "champagne gravel" roads, more rugged and chunky forest service roads, and a small section of road that was rather rutted and sandy.
The spectacular scenery ranges from huge horse farms, rolling ranch land, wide open views of the valley and mountains, wooded sections along the Yampa river, and of course views of the Stagecoach Reservoir.
Traffic was extremely minimal all along this route, even on a Saturday morning in August.
Keep your eyes out for animals. We saw a bear early in the morning right off the bike path in Steamboat, and around this time of year you might see Sandhill Cranes! (We spotted two in a field and were amazed at how big they were!) Stagecoach State Park says commonly sighted wildlife in the park includes elk, mule deer, coyote, red fox and badger.
This is hardly a low, but, as a general rule, we prefer to ride more than 50% gravel on a route. In this case though, the paved roads were just as scenic and had extremely low traffic, so they didn't feel all that different from the champagne gravel roads!
Do this ride if you are in Steamboat Springs and looking for a great mix of terrain from pavement and "champagne gravel", to more rugged and rutted rural roads. No matter where you are on the route, the scenery is remarkably beautiful!
We started from Little Toots Park. There is street parking for the park on 12th Street, and public bathrooms are located just north of 13th Street at West Lincoln Park.
An alternative parking area and bathrooms would be the Howelson Hill Park Area.
There are additional bathrooms in the Stagecoach State Park, although it is a slight detour of the route. To find them, head towards the Campground or Haybro Day Use Area around mile 19.8.
This route goes into Stagecoach Park, which is a Colorado State Park. It technically does require a fee to enter by bike. More info here. Day passes are $4 or you can use your annual state park pass.
Looking to add about 10 more beautiful mile to this route? You can go around the reservoir while you are at Stagecoach. Get the route here.
Once you leave the town of Steamboat, there are no places to stop for food or water. (We didn't stop in there, but the Stagecoach Marina Store says it has a "small camp store with firewood, ice, non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and often forgotten items". Like the bathrooms, this is a slight detour off the main route.) Plan to bring everything you need for all 35 miles.
When you finish, you are right in town along the riverfront, so you have lots of options for food, coffee, and beer. A few places we recommend include: Mountain Tap Brewery, The Boat Yard (Food Trucks/Food Court), Salt and Lime (Mexican Restaurant), and Smell That Bread (Bakery).